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US Should Be More Worried About Russia’s Cyber Capabilities

On Tuesday, an intelligence officer from the US warned that Russia is yet to unleash its full cyber capacity on the United States. Admiral Mike Rogers, who heads the US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, says that although China has been behind a major chunk of cyber attacks on US targets but is confident that Russia has even more enhanced capabilities in this arena. However, the only reason that Russia has not entered this new form of warfare is because it has chosen not to.

US Russia Cyber War

Earlier this year, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence claimed that a Russian cyber threat is more severe than initially thought. This comes as quite a development considering the fact that most of the intelligence officials have been more vocal about Chinese cyber capabilities. In the last few months, Chinese hackers have hacked into various public and private US targets with an attack on the Office of Personnel Management being the most notable one. That was the largest security breach in US history and resulted in the theft of more than 20 million classified personnel files.

However, this attack would be nothing considering the attacks Russia can carry out at free will. Intelligence officials believe that Russia boasts a central cyber command infrastructure which is similar to that of the US. In past, Russian hackers have hacked into unclassified servers in the State Department, Defense Department and the White House.

Clapper says that although US is well prepared for a large scale attack to destroy US infrastructure, chances of such an even occurring are very slim since most of the hacking incidents in recent memory have been low to moderate level attacks. However, such attacks do affect America’s economic competitiveness and national security.

Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., attributed America's diminished cyberdefenses to the lack of a policy on deterrence. "Our adversaries view our response ... as timid and ineffectual. Put simply, the problem is a lack of deterrence. The administration has not demonstrated to our adversaries that the consequence of...